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News

Update Center

We appreciate the help and support of our staff, students and families as we address this continually evolving situation.  We’ll continue to communicate as often as possible through a variety of venues, including this web page.  

August 13, 2020
Reminder: Please Complete the 2020 Return to Learn Student Registration Form As Soon As Possible
All Duluth Public Schools families are asked to complete this back to school form for each student to inform local planning. 
It will help staff prepare for everyone's safety, health and educational support. This data will help staff buildings, distribute technology, plan transportation, classroom schedules and much more.
Thank you for completing the form(s) as soon as possible, we appreciate your patience and support as we plan for the new school year.
 
The form is for students grades Kindergarten thru 12+.
 
 
Do you prefer  or need a hard copy of the survey?  They're available at Summer Meal school distribution sites. 
 
More Info:

 

August 8, 2020
Please Complete the 2020 Return to Learn Student Registration Form As Soon As Possible
All Duluth Public Schools families are asked to complete this back to school form for each student to inform local planning. 
It will help staff prepare for everyone's safety, health and educational support. This data will help staff buildings, distribute technology, plan transportation, classroom schedules and much more.
Thank you for completing the form(s) as soon as possible, we appreciate your patience and support as we plan for the new school year.
 
The form is for students grades Kindergarten thru 12+.
 
 
More Info:

 

August 6, 2020

Update: Duluth Public Schools Planning Will Focus on Elementary, Middle and High School Hybrid to Start School Year

   During a special meeting held August 6, the Duluth School Board and community received an update on planning for the beginning of the school year. Information included:

  • New local COVID data, which shows a numbers increase
  • Presentation from St. Louis County Public Health
  • Feedback received from teachers, staff and families
  • Meetings held with principals and teachers
  • Meetings held with district department and program heads

   Participants included Amy Westerbrook, St. Louis County Public Health Division Director; Ethan Fisher, President of the Duluth Federation of Teachers; Duluth Principals Danette Seboe, Brian Kazmierczak, Nathan Glockle, Jim Erickson, department and program heads and others.

  The Board approved planning for a hybrid model for elementary, middle and high schools for the beginning of the school year. The hybrid model combines part-time in person and enhanced distance learning, meaning fewer students on buses and in schools.  Families can choose all enhanced distance learning for their students instead of hybrid if they wish. 

  To ensure students are ready to take part in the hybrid model, planning includes having students spend the first nine days of school in enhanced distance learning as they take part in welcome activities with their teachers and fellow students, train on Canvas and SeeSaw digital classroom platforms, COVID safety protocols, learn internet safety strategies, expectations and other preparatory activities.

   The district will continue to monitor local COVID level updates and be prepared to switch models during the year should numbers significantly increase or decrease.  

   “We encourage everyone in our Duluth community to work together to decrease COVID numbers so children have an opportunity to go to school in person, full time, as soon as possible. That’s best for students educationally,” said Superintendent Magas.

   Duluth schools are preparing to be flexible for whatever situation may arise.  It’s a big job for everyone, families included, and we appreciate all the work being done by our teachers, principals, department heads and staff.

   We also understand the need for families and staff to know what to expect and to have as much information as possible, as soon as possible. 

   “Our principals and departments are working in consultation with teacher leaders regarding the school day when students are in the school building and when they’re learning at home,” said Superintendent Magas.  “We’ll continue to update staff and families regularly with that information, we appreciate their patience and support.”

   Duluth families are being asked to complete a back to school form to help inform planning. They’ll be asked about intent to participate in hybrid or enhanced distance learning, use of district transportation and signing up to receive technology support, among others. 

   It’s important that every family complete the form for each student.  This is data that will help staff buildings, distribute technology, plan transportation and much more.

   The form will be available at ISD709.org/ReturnToLearn beginning no later than August 10.  Hard copies will be available at summer meal sites.  School and district staff will be reaching out to families who may not have access to the survey online.

   School reopening planning updates are posted at www.ISD709.org/ReturnToLearn.

 
July 30, 2020
Update: District Considers Elementary In Person/Middle & High School Hybrid for School Reopening 

   The Duluth School Board and community received a Return to Learn planning update Aug 4.  

   Superintendent John Magas says planning emphasizes the safety of students and staff, outlining protocols and instructions from Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan, created by the MN Departments of Health and Education. It includes state guidance for helping local school districts determine and implement a safe learning model. 

   Magas says planning allows schools to respond to local COVID-19 levels using three learning models.  They include in-person, hybrid and distance learning.  The state provides school districts with local COVID-19 numbers and guidance regarding which learning model or combination of models is appropriate. 

   Magas said under current conditions and trends, the district recommends moving forward with an in-person model for K-5 elementary and a hybrid model for grades 6 - 12 for the start of school.  Families who would prefer not to send their student to an in-person or hybrid model could choose all distance learning.  

   “We’re working to ensure high-quality instruction to every student, to meet individual needs and to provide family choice,” says Magas.  He says offering more face-to-face instruction to elementary students may help young children and support educational opportunity and growth across all grades. The district will also prioritize in-person instruction for students receiving special education services. 

   Magas says Duluth’s distance learning is significantly improved over the spring emergency model.  “We’ve made investments in more devices and are working to provide more internet accessibility for students,” says Magas.  “The learning model will include more live, teacher-led virtual instruction.”  

More at www.ISD709.org/ReturnToLearn

July 30, 2020
Minnesota Provides Guidance For School Re-Opening

   This afternoon Governor Tim Walz released Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-21 School Year. It uses a localized, data-driven approach that allows school districts to operate in a learning model that is responsive to the prevalence of COVID-19 cases in their community. The plan provides guidance to school districts regarding which learning model to use based on 14-day COVID-19 case rates by county.  

    This information will be incorporated into the district's Return to Learn planning and will be used to help select a model for use at the beginning of the school year.  The district will provide a planning update to families and the community on August 4th.

    The health and safety of students and staff are a top priority.  Distance learning will be different from the emergency model used last spring.  Learn more about the Duluth School District's response to the state and about the Return to Learn Plan at www.ISD709.org/ReturnToLearn.

View the ISD 709 Press Release

 
 

Concern or question?

Student and staff safety is our top priority. If you have a question, concern or comment about any health or safety issue, please let us know.

Email: covidquestions@ISD709.org

Resources: MN Department of Health

COVID-19 Hotline: Questions about COVID-19? Call the MDH COVID-19 Hotline at 651-201-3920 Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Resources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Resources: St. Louis County Health Department